• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Daddy-A

Daddy-A's Excellent French Adventure

86 posts in this topic

I was in France 18 years ago as a backpacker … Paris and Cannes in particular. Aside from a couple of cheesy shots in front of the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral, I couldn’t tell you much else about the place. I was probably drunk most of the trip.

18 years later, with a travel-loving wife and a new appreciation for food and wine, I returned to France for a 3 week vacation:

  • Week 1: Rent an apartment in Paris for the first week and attempt in some small way to live like Parisians.
  • Week 2: A walking tour in the Dordogne.
  • Week 3: A visit to Burgundy … Beaune in particular.

This is not going to be a “checklist” blog. There was no agenda that ensured a visit to La Tour d’Argent or L’Atelier de Joel Robochon. Yes, we had a list, but if we never made it to a Michelin-starred establishment, that was fine. If we ate saucisson sec in the Burgundian countryside, that was fine too. This blog is about our attempt to experience food and French culture as accurately as we could as tourists on a 3 week trip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We arrived in Paris via CDG at 1 in the afternoon. Our apartment was a cute little 1-bedroom on Place Dauphine, a triangular-shaped park on the western tip of Isle de la Cite. Pont Neuf was on our front door step and Notre Dame Cathedral was 5 minutes walk away. The plan was to eat breakfast and dinner at the apartment and have restaurant lunches.

Severely jet lagged after a 10 hour flight (from Vancouver via Calgary!) we started with a general walk-about our new neighbourhood. Stop number 1 was a streetside crêperie.

gallery_16561_3734_88743.jpg

Crepe with Egg, Ham & Gruyere Cheese

Nothing new here, except something I was to experience many times in Paris. I am not bilingual, but can survive just fine with my seldom-used university French. Crêpe-guy insisted on speaking English to me even though I insisted on speaking French. I understand the frustration many Parisians must feel during the tourist season with millions of folks speaking poor French (if any at all). If they can speak English to an Anglophone it has to be easier for them. But dammit, I was there for the total Francophone experience. “Bonne journee monsieur!

Lunch/dinner (remember, we were still jet-lagged) was at a sidewalk bistro. Cliché? Perhaps, but we were in no condition to pull out the eGullet guide. We were just hungry.

gallery_16561_3734_104148.jpg

Grilled Andouillette w/ Frites

gallery_16561_3734_70701.jpg

Beef Carpaccio

When I ordered the carpaccio, the waiter asked “Does monsieur realize the beef is rare?” I assured him I did without giving off too much “duh!” vibe. When he returned I was served two plates of carpaccio. “Monsieur looked hungry” he said. Turns out it was the end of their lunch rush and I was the lucky benefactor.

The rest of the day was a quick your around Isle de la Cité. We returned to our apartment to pick up dinner and go take in this:

gallery_16561_3734_11606.jpg

Another in a series of Paris clichés, but in our defense there were many other Parisans doing the same thing at the same end of the island.

gallery_16561_3734_48606.jpg

That night was also the 1 year anniversary of my mother’s death. We dined on saucisson seche and brie, and toasted her life with a nice Bordeaux.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

gallery_16561_3734_32892.jpg

Breakfast at rue Dauphine

Did I miss the memo that said the French idea of breakfast out is a shot of espresso or a Kir or a glass of rouge and a smoke? I saw breakfast cereals and yoghurts and such in the super-marché, so I’m certain French families have lovely breakfasts at home. That’s what we did anyway.

The only time we had breakfast out was when I wanted a Kir …

Before we left for Paris I did extensive research on eGullet and other internet sources to compile a list of dining experiences that would fit our expectations and budget. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the France forum over the last 4 or 5 years. It was all extremely helpful.

3-star establishments were off the list. Neither J nor I have enough dining experience in France for those places to have meaning for us. We also weren’t interested in spending 2 or 3 hours for a meal. This was J’s first trip to Paris, and there was too much else to see and do!

Aux Lyonnais was the only “higher end” dining we did (sorry, no pics), and it did not disappoint. Service was attentive and professional, but not so stiff that we were uncomfortable. In fact our server (Fabrice) made me feel quite at ease, especially when he indulged my French throughout the evening, only subtly correcting me on 2 or 3 occasions.

We started with a Paté de Foie Gras for me, and a Charcuterie plate for J. The funniest point of the evening came when J’s entrée arrived. Upon seeing it I uttered a low “MMMMMM” to which J replied “Mine!” It was all poor Fabrice could do to stop himself from doubling over in laughter. Much like a suppressed sneeze, the laugh almost did him in.

Mains were Foie de Veau for me and Magret de Canard for J. Served extremely hot, the liver was oddly delicious. I say oddly because for a brief moment (i.e. when I ordered it) I forgot that “foie” was liver, and I’m not a big fan. Ah well, chalk it up to one of many such confusions I would have during this trip.

I am woefully ignorant on the subject of French wine, so put my trust in the extremely knowledgeable sommelier. The trust was paid back 1000 fold. Easily the most beautiful wine I had enjoyed to that point in my life (notice the foreshadowing? Velvety smooth with notes of berry and spice … and not available outside of France I was told. Thus I never wrote down the name.

I must admit that my Aux Lyonnais experience was initially quite intimidating. After all, Paris is the Mecca of dining out. Now that I’m back home and have a bit more experience in French dining, I’d like to go back and try it (and others I missed) again. The intimidation factor is gone, and I think I would be a better diner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a few pictures and observations from our time in Paris:

gallery_16561_3734_98546.jpg

gallery_16561_3734_19091.jpg

gallery_16561_3734_95614.jpg

Marie-Anne Cantin on rue Claire. OMG! I thought I had died and gone to cheese heaven. We have a couple excellent cheese shops in Vancouver, but nothing compares to those in France, Cantin in particular. Now I’m not naive enough to miss the fact that Cantin is operating a lot on reputation. I’m certain there are less expensive shops, and perhaps even shops with better selection. We didn’t find them, but I’ll accept from what I’ve read here on eG that they exist.

What made Cantin, and in fact many of the shops in Paris, so head-and-shoulders above what we have at home was not the product. There were only a few cheeses we found in France that we have never seen at home. In fact, we have many excellent cheeses that the French didn’t have. The difference was the culture of food in France. I seriously so many bakers, butchers, charcuteries and cheese shops could co-exist where food was not deeply entrenched in the culture.

My shopping experience at Cantin was wonderful. The fellow helping me was clearly thrilled that someone from Canada was showing so much interest in their products. It helped that I knew a bit about cheese already, but the smile on his face when he introduced me to a 3 year-old Compté (love the little crystals of salt!) was worth the 40 Euros I spent on cheese that day.

gallery_16561_3734_70845.jpg

Negroni (called Americanos(???) in Paris) at Les Deux Magots

This was my check-list experience for the trip (Hemingway fan), and totally worth it when this walked by:

gallery_16561_3734_10979.jpg

Check out the HAT!!

People watching in Paris was a hoot!

The only other eating “must-do” we had was L’As de Falafel.

gallery_16561_3734_24529.jpg

gallery_16561_3734_100424.jpg

Falafel and a Lamb Shwarma

The verdict? Good. Really good. But not OMG good. And that whole district around rue des Rossiers is really a gong show after dark.

I guess the lacklustre feeling I got after L’As de Falafel probably had something to do with the fact that in Vancouver we’re exposed to so much excellent, inexpensive ethnic food. Sushi for example was almost double the price I would pay in Vancouver. Chinese and Indian were similarly priced. I doubt they were twice as good.

Besides, I was in France for French food, something I don’t see a lot in Vancouver.

gallery_16561_3734_73824.jpg

A little pistachio escargot we picked up at a pattiserie on Rue St. Martin, near the Pompidou Centre. I show this as an example of the sort of thing I was seeking in France. I’m sure I could pick these up at home, but in Paris, this sort of thing was everywhere! And each shopkeeper would tell you his/hers were the best, and truly believe it. I wanted to eat them all!

One of my favourite aspects about dining in Paris is the ability to simply sit your buts down at a free table, grab “un express” or “un pression”, and then continue along your merry way. It took J a while to realize that we did not, in fact, have to be seated like we do at home. It was much less formal and is probably the thing I miss most about Paris right now.


Edited by Daddy-A (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A word of advice if you're thinking about visitng Euro-Disney, or Disneyland Park Paris, or whatever it's called today ...

DON'T

J & I are Disney fans and wanted to check another park off the list. Nobody told us that once the holiday season is over that 75% of the food services close down and rides that work are only optional.

Needless to say we were kinda hungry when we went back to the hotel, so we decided to pick up a pizza along the way.

WARNING! World's Saddest Pizza to follow

gallery_16561_3734_16744.jpg

Actually it tasted pretty good. Especially since it was washed down with a bottle of this:

gallery_16561_3734_55979.jpg

I could easily become an alchoholic in France. I'd heard the rumours about good, inexpensive wine in France. I'm happy to report those rumours are true! The above bottle set me back a whopping 4 Euros and was better than many $20 bottles I've had at home.

*sigh*

So after a week of Paris, it was time to head south to the Dordogne for a week long walking tour. We'd return to Paris for the end of the trip, but leaving the apartment on rue Dauphine was really tough. If you're considering a trip to Paris, or France in general, i encourage you to consider the apartment route.

I'll try to post Week 2 within the next few days ...

A.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are a few names of places we ate or shopped at that I wanted to give some recognition:

La Rose de Paris

24 rue Dauphine

Paris 75001

This was the café in the building we stayed at in Paris. Thomas and his partner had just taken ownership of it 3 weeks before arrived. Good basic fare.

Le Bar du Cave

rue Dauphine

Paris 75001

Wine bar attached to the larger Le Cave restaurant. Never made it to the restaurant, the food at the bar was too good.

La Café du Marché

38 rue Cler

Paris 75007

Our favourite “un-researched” find in Paris. The Salade Gourmande with duck confit & smoked magret was amazing!

Charles Traiteur

10 rue Dauphine

Paris 75006

Best baudin blanc. Ever.

Cacao et Chocolat

63 rue Saint-Louis-en-Isle

Paris 75004

Focussing mostly on South American chocolate. The service was unpretentious and the chocolates were really high quality.

Amorino

4 rue de Buci – 75006 Paris

Chain of ice cream parlours (about 12 I think) throughout Paris. The location noted is the one we visited 3 times (!) in St. Germain. Ask them for 2 flavours in one cone and it comes out looking like a flower!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It helped that I knew a bit about cheese already, but the smile on his face when he introduced me to a 3 year-old Compté (love the little crystals of salt!) was worth the 40 Euros I spent on cheese that day.

40 Euros?!??!!? Was that just for eating over there, or was some of it for bringing back to Canada?

I can't wait to see the rest of your trip! I would love to go to France, but it's a bit far down on my "must-go-to-places" list, so I shall live vicariously through you until I can get.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It helped that I knew a bit about cheese already, but the smile on his face when he introduced me to a 3 year-old Compté (love the little crystals of salt!) was worth the 40 Euros I spent on cheese that day.

40 Euros?!??!!? Was that just for eating over there, or was some of it for bringing back to Canada?

Just for lunches and snacks in France. Well, it lasted through Disney and into the Dordogne for a couple days anyway :laugh: . And if you think 40 Euros was a lot, wait until you see the cheese we bought in Sarlat!

A.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Arne, excellent report! We have a few shared experiences in there.

Aux Lyonnais was also our debut restaurant in paris last year and was outstanding. Our son who was then six years old still can't stop talking about his dinner therre, especially a dish that mixed pasta, steak, cheese and mushrooms. I have to agree with him that it was outstanding. Marie-Ann Cantin is very impressive. Our money was well spent there. In addition, I too thought L'As de Falafel good, but not extraordinary.

Looking forward to the rest.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent pictures and commentary so far - looking forward to the rest of the report. That cheese shop would have sent me into paralysis and shock.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks very much for the report thus far.

I'll be in France next May and at this stage my itinerary is under development, so your report comes in handy. I'm planning to do some walking as well to follow up on a great walking holiday in Italy last fall. I'm especially interested to hear about the Dordogne walking.


Cheers,

Anne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
La Café du Marché

38 rue Cler

Paris 75007

Our favourite “un-researched” find in Paris. The Salade Gourmande with duck confit & smoked magret was amazing!

We also just came back from an apartment stay in Paris (our honeymoon) and this was our neighborhood cafe for when we wanted to eat casually. The owner of the apartment had told us it's a favorite of all the locals in the neighborhood. The fact that it's on a pedestrian market street made the people watching just fantastic. We had one lovely dinner when it was just pouring cats and dogs but we were snug as bugs under the awning and heatlamp. Tres romantique.

I must admit that my Aux Lyonnais experience was initially quite intimidating. After all, Paris is the Mecca of dining out. Now that I’m back home and have a bit more experience in French dining, I’d like to go back and try it (and others I missed) again. The intimidation factor is gone, and I think I would be a better diner.

I feel the same way. On our first trip two years ago we ate mainly in cafes and brasseries. This trip we ate at some nicer restaurants but no Michelan starred places. I think I've mostly gotten over the intimidation factor and we will do so on our next trip.

Lovin' this so far. Did you hit up any of the big name bakeries?

I don't mean to hijack the thread but I have to post about my bakery experiences. We traipsed all over the city, hitting the patisseries, chocolate shops, macaron places, etc, that I'd heard recommended here...My eyes were always bigger than my stomach (I mean, you can't judge a place on one thing, right? You need three or four items) and as the week went on, our fridge and cabinets filled with half eaten tarts, macarons with a single bite taken from them, etc. I knew I was in trouble after leaving Herme (day 5) with a dozen macarons (including white truffle!), a chocolate dessert and a sort of macaron raspberry-rose cake, all of which I brought back to the apartment and just looked at before mustering up the energy to actually try. Sweets overload. On our last day I threw out a large, very sorry assortment of partially eaten sweets.


Edited by kiliki (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Merci beaucoup, Monsieur!

gallery_16561_3734_32892.jpg

Breakfast at rue Dauphine

Were you trying to imitate bleudauvergne's picture-taking? It looks so beautiful and ... so French ...

I must admit that my Aux Lyonnais experience was initially quite intimidating.  After all, Paris is the Mecca of dining out.  Now that I’m back home and have a bit more experience in French dining, I’d like to go back and try it (and others I missed) again.  The intimidation factor is gone, and I think I would be a better diner.

Be careful, Arne. Some people from Lyon may take issue with that statement. BTW, did you meet up with any eGers in France on your trip??


Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We traipsed all over the city, hitting the patisseries, chocolate shops, macaron places, etc, that I'd heard recommended here...My eyes were always bigger than my stomach (I mean, you can't judge a place on one thing, right? You need three or four items) and as the week went on, our fridge and cabinets filled with half eaten tarts, macarons with a single bite taken from them, etc.

Totally agree. Don't leave me in suspense, though...how were the pastries? :smile: (The white truffle macaroon from PH sounds intriguing...was it tasty? And what was the filling?)

...btw, congrats on the nuptials!


Edited by Ling (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We traipsed all over the city, hitting the patisseries, chocolate shops, macaron places, etc, that I'd heard recommended here...My eyes were always bigger than my stomach (I mean, you can't judge a place on one thing, right? You need three or four items) and as the week went on, our fridge and cabinets filled with half eaten tarts, macarons with a single bite taken from them, etc.

Totally agree. Don't leave me in suspense, though...how were the pastries? :smile: (The white truffle macaroon from PH sounds intriguing...was it tasty? And what was the filling?)

Sort of answering Ling's query via kiliki ...

We didn't really go seeking out any of the "name" patisseries. We saw a few, but as has been noted, there's only so much pastry eating one can do ... unless of course it's Ling we're talking about. We paid a visit to a number of chocolatiers, not just in France, but in Sarlat and Beaune as well, but that's yet to come.

I had to laugh at the remark about throwing out things at the end of the week. As you'll read when I talk about the market at Sarlat (in the Dordogne) we had the same problem with cheese!

A.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gallery_16561_3734_32892.jpg

Breakfast at rue Dauphine

Were you trying to imitate bleudauvergne's picture-taking? It looks so beautiful and ... so French ...

That's high praise indeed! Thank you so much ... and yes, Lucy's photo's have always been an inspiration.

BTW, did you meet up with any eGers in France on your trip??

Nope, not this trip. We were moving around quite a bit and in reality meeting up would have been tough. Besides, we wanted this to be "our" trip. Next time.

A.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

great report! my favorite city in the world.thanks for doing this.

btw, the wine upthread is not bourdeaux but looks like saumur champigny. which is a cabernet franc from the loire valley. a great region for price to quality wines both red and white.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
btw, the wine upthread is not bourdeaux but looks like saumur champigny. which is a cabernet franc from the loire valley. a great region for price to quality wines both red and white.

Damned eGullet people! :laugh:

Thanks for that ... I didn't write the name down, so I used "bordeaux" for poetic reasons.

A.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Week 2

Our second week in France was something both J & I had wanted to do for a long time.

France is terrific place to walk. The entire country is criss-crossed with walking trails known as the Grand Randonnée(GR), extremely well marked and well thought out trails that allow one to experience the French countryside on a much more personal level than more automated modes of travel.

Many companies will organize tours utilizing the GR system. For our trip we chose Sentiers de France. They booked all our hotels and arranged transport for our luggage during our 8 day trek through the Dordogne. We visited countless pre-historic sites (the cave paintings at Lascaux, Roche St. Christophe, etc.) and medieval castles (Beynac, Castelnaud, etc.) and finished with one of the best markets I have ever seen, in Sarlat le Canéda. If you enjoy walking (we averaged 18 km per day) and want to see France at a very leisurely pace, I highly recommend Sentiers de France.

One of the side benefits to a walking tour is that it affords one the opportunity to eat more. For us, this was a good thing considering the Dordogne is one of the countries leading producers of walnuts, truffles, and …

gallery_16561_3734_153794.jpg

gallery_16561_3734_144126.jpg

Foie rules the table in these parts. There are producers in every village, corn in every field and foie appears prominently on every menu. For our tour, we ate foie in various forms at all but two dinners. I never thought I would say this, but I’ve had enough foie for a while.

Breakfasts and dinners were arranged at each hotel. Breakfast was the espresso-croissant-confiture variety; dinners were of the prix-fix menu variety. Out of 6 dinners, there was only one we would have classified as sub-standard, and one produced the best meal of the entire trip.

These are the hotels we stayed at:

Hotel Le Lascaux (Montignac) – Thierry & Agnes Pralong run this hotel and dining room. On our first night, Thierry cooked me the best piece of beef I have ever eaten. The hotel is nice and clean, and the dining room is solid.

Hotel Le Moulin de la Beaune (Les Eyzies de Tayac) – Quiet hotel beside its own little creek. The dining room here is fantastic! Easily the best meal of the trip, and perhaps our best restaurant experience ever. The requisite foie, duck confit, trout, black truffle risotto ... all excellent, although for the life of me I can't figure out the love for Rocomadour Chevre! Every restaurant we visited on the tour served this as their cheese course. I know there are many other cheeses in the region, why not feature them?.

Service was intuituve, and my french was indulged and politely corrected throughout the evening. Thanks to the sommelier, we also had one of the best bottles of wine we’ve ever enjoyed, a 2003 Château Des Eyssards L' Adagio from Bergerac. We tried a lot of wines from Bergerac on the walking tour and thoroughly enjoyed them all.

Hotel Du Chateaux (Beynac) – The only thing this hotel did wrong was come after the hotel in Les Eyzies. The dining room was quite busy the night we ate there since all the other dining rooms in town decided to close. They were a little short-staffed but handles the crowds really well.

Hotel Plaisance (Vitrac) – Not much in this little town, but the hotel had the only pool we saw the entire trip. Apparently though, not many folks swim during the last week of September in France. We hardy Canadians were given a few odd looks, but it was warm outside and we’d been walking all day. The dining room was serviceable, but clearly geared towards the seniors’ bus-tour circuit. Having said that, they served me a lovely walnut stuffed trout.

Hotel La Couleuvrine (Sarlat) – The hotel sits right on the edge of the town square, so if you’re there on market days (Wed. & Sat.) be prepared to be woken up by vendors setting up for the day. The dining room here was highly touted in many of the guides we read, but our experience was not that great. In fact, I would classify many of the dishes as poor. I’ll be fair … we were given the least expensive of the 3 set menus. But at 30 Euro it was already more expensive than the excellent meal we had at Les Eyzies.

Outside of the hotel meals, we were on our own. That meant a quick shopping trip in the evening before we hit the trail!

gallery_16561_3734_6486.jpg

gallery_16561_3734_68919.jpg

This is what lunch looked like pretty much every day: cheese, charcuterie, fruit, chocolate & wine while seated on our Gortex looking at stunning scenery. The scenery was spectacular, especially as we came into the Dordogne valley. The picture above shows Beynac Castle in the distance. Castles were a pretty common site, and eventually became referred to as AFC’s.

Shop owners everywhere, but especially in the smaller towns, were more than happy to let you know about local specialties. In the Dordogne, this was foie virtually every time, but the freshly baked breads (usually with walnuts) made regular appearances in our back pack.

gallery_16561_3734_44657.jpg

I show this because after 3 weeks of purchasing cheeses, we found this to be the SMELLIEST cheese in France. You have been warned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd love to do one of those walking trips-yours sounds fantastic.

Don't leave me in suspense, though...how were the pastries?  (The white truffle macaroon from PH sounds intriguing...was it tasty? And what was the filling?)

The macaron had a fairly plain shell, white truffle oil filling, and a little roast hazelnut filling. It's odd to say I didn't LOVE something with white truffle but this didn't really do it for me. I guess I'm more traditional when it comes to macarons. Herme makes a foie gras and chocolate one, and a fig, foie gras and "creme d'egalitine" (? I'm looking at the glossy ad they gave me but I don't know what that is) one during December, btw.

While I think I could rank the macarons I tried, I'm not sure I could with the patisseries. I ordered different things at most places, so it's hard to judge. I honestly didn't have a bad item anywhere, though I was somewhat disappointed with the eclairs I got (I think they suffer sitting in a case, and I can make them at home). Jean Millet might have been my favorite. I didn't get to try the things that LOOKED most spectacular (like the large cakes at Fauchon and Lenotre) simply because I couldn't seeing buying such a large, expensive item I knew we couldn't even make a dent in. I was tempted, though. And as for items like croissants, the apartment owners told us the best place in the neighborhood was right across the street at Putnam Bertrand Boulonger. They were phenomenal and convenient, and I never even tried any others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

J & I visit markets wherever we travel, and were extremely excited to be visiting Sarlat le Canéda at the end of the walking tour. In fact, we had scheduled the tour so we would arrive in Sarlat on a Friday, just in time for the market in Saturday.

gallery_16561_3734_34545.jpg

We were awoken on Saturday morning by the sounds of vendors setting up their wares on the street below our hotel room. It was 7am. I sat for about an hour watching the women load her table with carrots, leeks, artichokes and other produce. In between visits to her truck she would stop, have a drag on her cigarette and a drink of what I assume was wine.

We left the hotel just after 8 and walked towards the city square. Vendors, having finished their displays were now drinking red wine and catching up with each others. The locals were starting to filter into the city, each carrying some variation of the same wicker shopping basket. The air was a mix of smells; freshly baked bread, cut flowers, prunes, sauccison and many other items.

gallery_16561_3734_27989.jpg

OLIVES!!! I lost count how many varieties ... something like 20

gallery_16561_3734_101697.jpg

J tells me Olive-Guy is cute :rolleyes:

gallery_16561_3734_6921.jpg

This was the most amazing thing for me. These were much like tent trailers when they arrived, and unfolded into the most amazing shops-on-wheels.

gallery_16561_3734_31574.jpg

Cheese-dude is slicing off part of what turned into a 50 Euro cheese order. Definitely more cheese than we needed :wacko: , but it was so good. We gave a lot of it away.

gallery_16561_3734_125127.jpg

The left pan has a tartilette of cheese, potato and sausage, the left, paella.

gallery_16561_3734_58636.jpg

Sauccison ... 5 different varieties at 4 for 10 Euro. There was duck, porc, bleu d'auvergne, boar, & mushroom (cepes). There were many other such suppliers at the market, each with his/her own favorites.

gallery_16561_3734_24232.jpg

Of course you need bread to go with all that cheese and sausage ...

gallery_16561_3734_67493.jpg

... and beer! 3 flavours: truffle, nut (walnut) & chestnut. I tried the walnut (for breakfast at the market) ... and went looking for the red wine :laugh:

gallery_16561_3734_107442.jpg

One of the many foie producers at the market. Jean Jardel is his name, and he's really proud of his product, and a pretty good salesman to boot. I spent the rest of the trip with 3 cans of foie in my pack!

gallery_16561_3734_56655.jpg

In addition to foie gras and noix, Perigord is also known for prunes. They bake with them, make liqueur from it (very much like an eau-de-vie) and even stuff them like chocolates (those will make an appearance later on).

So that was market day in Sarlat. An amazing collection of local product mixed in with a little of the touristy aspects of the area. Definitely worth scheduling around.

More on Sarlat later ...


Edited by Daddy-A (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A walking tour of France? I never thought of that!!

Pardon me for being so crass, but money-wise, did you find that with a walking tour, you had a better connection to the French people, their culture, their cuisine, ..le terroir... ? Is autumn a better time to visit, or perhaps spring?

And you can answer this question towards the end of your trip: Which did you like better, the city or the countryside? And why?


Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pardon me for being so crass, but money-wise, did you find that with a walking tour, you had a better connection to the French people, their culture, their cuisine, ..le terroir... ? Is autumn a better time to visit, or perhaps spring?

Crass? You?? :laugh:

It's a really good question. When we started the trip, I expected we'd have that sort of connection with the culture & food. Truth was, the distances we covered prevented any sort of "poking about" to get to know the locals.

We did see more fields of corn than I've ever seen in my life (and we drive through Chilliwack, BC man times a year), saw vineyards that were so beautiful they made me weep, and even experienced the wonderful aroma of drying tobacco (I'm serious about the wonderful comment). So while we may not have connected with the culture so much, we did connect with the country.

When we return to France, we'll walk again, because it does get you much closer to things than a car or a tour bus can. What we'll do differently is rent ourselves an apartment and do much shorter trips.

And you can answer this question towards the end of your trip: Which did you like better, the city or the countryside? And why?

Stay tuned!

A.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.